Once you enter into Caviar’s world you’ll find out very soon that it is quite a large place. From classic Caviar to substitutes, hybrids, roes and many other types, it’s normal to be confused. However, today we’re gonna take care of at least one of the doubts you may be having on Caviar and this is Fish Roe. All fish eggs are technically roe, but not all roe is Caviar. The term Caviar only applies to the Fish Roe in the sturgeon family Acipenseridae. And, what is exactly Fish Roe?  When we say “roe”, we are referring to all unfertilized eggs collected from marine animals.Roe is the fully ripe, unfertilized internal egg masses in the ovaries, or the released external egg masses of the fish.  Salmon roe and the roe from whitefish, trout, cod, red caviar, ikura, and tobiko, etc. are considered “caviar substitutes” and not Caviar. 

So far you already know Caviar and Fish Roe are two different things. But do they have something in common? Basically, both Caviar and roe are fish eggs, but Caviar is a particular kind of roe from the sturgeon family that has been cured. Uncured roe is commonly called “green eggs” in the industry. 

Now, what’s the difference between Caviar and Fish Roe? It all resides in what marine animals the roe is harvested from. According to the traditional definition, as maintained by most of the rest of the world, the word “Caviar” is reserved for roe that comes only from fish of the sturgeon family. The combination of unfertilized sturgeon eggs and salt creates the delicacy known as Caviar. So, roe harvested from a species of sturgeon is still considered roe until it is salt-cured, at which point it would be called Caviar. 

Although most of the world knows that “real Caviar” doesn’t come from just any fish; it comes from our ancient friend, the sturgeon. Caviar in the USA is defined as the cured roe of sturgeon or other large fish, eaten as a delicacy. So, the United States allows manufacturers to label any salt-cured Fish Roe as Caviar, no matter what fish it comes from. You can expect to see roe from a variety of fish species, which is salted using the same process and labeled as Caviar. This happens with fishes like salmon, paddlefish, bowfin, etc.

Need some more info to wrap up? Here are some quick facts of Caviar and Fish Roe: 

  • Roe is a general word for collected eggs of marine animals, while Caviar is a particular kind of roe from the sturgeon family of fish.
  • Caviar is salted roe of particular types of fish discovered in Black Sea and Caspian Sea.
  • Sturgeon Caviar is regarded as a delicacy and is very costly. This is why there are less expensive varieties of Caviar, such as smoked cod roe, to serve people in some parts of the world.

So, now we know the difference, let’s talk about options. What types of Fish Roe can you try? and the answer is so many! Besides sturgeon Caviar, some of the most popular and plus, more affordable types of Fish Roe include salmon, also known as red Caviar, which are those large, bright orange, luscious beads often found in sushi. Trout Roe, Tobiko, (the tiny, crunchy, brightly colored eggs often found on sushi, harvested from flying fish and variously dyed black with squid ink, green with wasabi, red with beets, or yellow with yuzu).  You’ll also find jars of relatively cheap fish eggs labeled Caviar, but they’ll always include the type of fish they come from: Paddlefish Caviar or Spoonbill Caviar and Lumpfish Caviar. This last one  comes in red and black varieties and the very last, Hackleback or American sturgeon Caviar and the list could go on and on. 

If after all of this new information now you want to give a try to Fish Roe, House of Caviar recommends you a few options to start with. All of them available in our online store: 

  • Salmon Roe:  these are large, red-orange sushi grade eggs. Mild, succulent, and  a low salt  clean salmon flavor.
  • Rainbow Trout Caviar: this type of roe has small to medium-sized grains, is beautiful to look at thanks to its vibrant, golden color and has a unique, mild sweet flavor.
  • Tobiko Black Caviar:  this tiny and colorful Caviar comes from Flying Fish Roe. Although the true color of Tobiko Caviar is bright orange, this Black Tobiko has been naturally tinted with squid ink. Use it to roll up some authentic sushi at home, or to garnish appetizers. 

We hope this blog helps you to clarify some questions about Caviar and Fish Roe. Don’t forget we offer you a great selection of Imported Caviar, Domestic Caviar and Fish Roe. Find all of these products visiting our online store and give it a try! We’ll be waiting for your visit. 

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